DKC Veterinary Clinic is 24/7
Always Open. All Day. All Night.
global relocations

transit care & airport oversight

more info...
animal relocations by animal people pet imports pet exports pet transits through the uae other creatures too transit care & airport oversight a lot about travel boxes measuring your dog for a travel box organisations & authorities collection & delivery nationwide tap to show all

Transit Care is the care of your pets and other animals which are passing through an airport as they travel from somewhere to somewhere, but stopping at some mid-point airport for a period of time in transit as they wait for their connecting, onward flight.

Every transiting animal wants transit care.

DKC is the Animal Handler for Emirates SkyCargo and dnata, providing animal care management on behalf of these two organisations for the countless animals booked as manifest cargo which transit through Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) each year... for your pets of all kinds and an endless variety of small and large exotics.

We also have a long-standing, very cooperative working relationship with the UAE Ministry Veterinarians who are directly involved in all animal import, export and transit processes.

Our work includes providing the basic care we all expect animals to get, as well as the overall management of health, travel box repair/maintenance/replacement, and general wellbeing. We ensure that their transit stops and any waiting periods they experience for import clearance or departing flights in Dubai are comfortable and safe. This said, be aware that our work applies only to animals traveling as manifest cargo, not accompanied baggage (which are handled by a separate team of Emirates staff on the passenger side of their business).

how it all works

Shortly following the arrival of any flight carrying animals booked as manifest cargo (it is global standard practice that all animals are loaded last onto departing flights and unloaded first upon arrival), they are transferred from the aircraft in climate-controlled vehicles to the AVI facilitiy in the cargo area at Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC). ("AVI" stands for the French "Animaux Vivant" - meaning "Live Animals" - and is the industry-standard term for all animals travelling by air.) This facility is not fancy but it is quiet and has enclosures for pets, as well as appropriate spaces for other types of animal. As with the vehicles, it is a fully climate-controlled place, of course. Pets are removed from their travel boxes, put into the enclosures and given plenty of water and fed. Since animals really should not be over-eating when travelling, if the transit period and/or total travel time is relatively short, only a small amount of food is given. Naturally, for exotic animals, the process is rather different and entirely depends on the species involved. Importantly, access to the AVI facility is strictly secure, limited to specific airline ground crew and to DKC; however, it is only DKC who physically handle and care for all these animals, pets and exotics alike, while they are in the AVI facility ~ DKC are not involved in the movement of animals to/from the AVI facility and aircraft because airlines have their own staff to handle this specialised work, but once receiving animals in the AVI facility, until we hand them over to airline staff for their onward flights, we provide all the care and oversight they need.

During the transit care period, aside from being given water and food, dogs are also walked and approximately every 6 hours all animals are checked and rechecked for anything they might need, including, in the case of dogs, more walkies. We also make sure that any pets which have done a bit of unwanted toileting (or anything else) during their travels are bathed and that their travel box is cleaned too. All animals are checked carefully for general health, including any physical or other issues that might need to be attended to, urgent or otherwise. Our handlers are not veterinarians but they are all exhaustively trained, including having successfully completed IATA's Live Animal Regulations (LAR) examination, and when necessary will call in our vet when they see a potential issue or something which clearly needs veterinary attention. Generally speaking, our handlers are pretty much constantly in the AVI facility, round-the-clock, in order to handle not only transiting animals but also our own shipments and other responsibilities, so naturally we keep a watchful eye on all the animals very regularly.

We also pay close attention to the travel boxes, making repairs if needed and even replacing them entirely if called for, either because they are too damaged, not well-enough built or indeed not the correct size. Damaged or missing water bowls are replaced, too. And of course any bedding that has travelled with pets will be washed if soiled, time permitting; if there is not enough time before the onward flight, the bedding will be replaced so that your pet commences the next leg of his or her journey in a clean, comfortable and safe travel box.

As we've said, our handlers will feed your pet (and other animals) during the transit period. For dogs and cats we rely on Royal Canin, but if your pet has need of something else or has any kind of special diet or, indeed, if you simply are concerned about him or her getting an upset stomach from a change of diet (however short-lived that might be), we recommend that a small bag of your chosen food is attached securely to the top of the travel box (not inside!), marked "Dinner for transit time!" or something else similarly clear, so that this is used instead of our standard fare.

Special Care / Handling:
Should any kind of special care or handling for your pet be required during their transit period (besides the special handling all animals get of course!), please just let your airline know in advance and they, in turn, will let us know and we, in turn, will let you know through them, or even directly, whether or not we can accommodate. Usually we can, so don't worry.

If your pet or other animal requires medication during transit in Dubai, our handlers are fully trained to administer most types, including insulin for diabetics, and/or we can ensure that our vet is present to handle this if required. Do please ensure that all details about the medication and the administration of it are provided to your airline at the time you book the flight and that a letter from your veterinarian is provided which clearly states the following:

  • The medical condition for which medication is required.
  • The medication prescribed ~ name(s) and format (e.g. tablet, drops, cream, injection... etc.)
  • Instructions for administering during normal circumstances: e.g. 1 tablet with food every morning
  • AND instructions for administering during the transit period.

A copy of the instructions must be taped to the travel box and the original veterinary letter must travel with the original travel documents.

DKC is:

Find animal shippers worldwide here and here.

Sedation: Should I or shouldn't I?
<h5>Sedation: Should I or shouldn't I?</h5> <div class="faq_ans_img"><img loading="lazy" src=""></div> <div class="faq_ans_text"><p>In almost all cases, absolutely <strong><span class="underline">not</span></strong>.<br><br>We very strongly recommend against tranquilizing or sedating animals for flight, as does just about every professional shipper worldwide ~ in fact, the vast majority of airlines will not even accept an animal if it has been so treated.<br><br>The main problem is that tranquilizers and sedatives affect the respiratory and circulatory systems by slowing them down quite a bit. While this is almost never a problem in normal circumstances, at altitude and in aircraft air-pressure, it can lead to physiological distress.<br><br>We are not saying that it is never done, and of course we are not saying it always leads to problems, but because there is a widely recognised increase in health risk, even if minimal, the usual approach is to avoid it unless absolutely necessary.<br><br>When is it absolutely necessary? Well, basically you need to ask: Will the stress which my pet will feel be so extremely serious that he will probably experience health problems or even physical injury while in transit, such that the risk of medication is actually less than the risk of anxiety?<br><br>Some people are so worried about their pets and other animals that this question becomes difficult for them to answer, but our experience is that in 99.9% of the cases, it is the human being who is suffering the most anxiety, albeit from understandable worry. You'd be amazed to see just how casual so many travelling animals are once they've arrived at the other end of the journey.</p> <p>And if you <em>are</em> seriously considering medication, look to <em>anxiolytics </em> instead of sedatives ~ these act differently on the pet's system and are probably safer, though we are still strongly recommending against the use of any medication at all, if at all possible. This said, there are herbal and homeopathic remedies that some feel are helpful alternatives and are usually readily available at pet shops and other locations in the form of sprays, tablets and even food.<br><br>Give it all some thought, speak to your vet, and please be cautious.</p></div>
Sedation: Should I or shouldn't I?
In almost all cases, absolutely...
What does Transit Care have to do with DKC?
<h5>What does Transit Care have to do with DKC?</h5> <p>Glad you asked!</p> <p>DKC (i.e. Dubai Kennels & Cattery and DKC Veterinary Clinic) is the Animal Handler for Emirates Airline and dnata (and all airlines served by dnata) at Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC). This means that we provide all care to all animals (pets, exotics, large and small mammals, fish, reptiles, birds, etc... but not horses at this time) which pass through DXB or DWC at any time of day or night, every day of the year.</p> <p>Now, not all types of animal always require "care" per se, but as and when needed, it is we who provide it. This will include the basics, such as water and food, but also inspection of travel crates and their repair or replacement as required; medical attention if needed; procurement and processing of special transit documents, etc. More than this, we are responsible for the general and overall monitoring and assessment of these animals, making decisions on a case-by-case basis as to their needs and providing those needs.</p> <p>The transit care period for all animals consists of basically three phases: taking animals off arriving aircraft and transporting them by air-conditioned vehicle from the aircraft to the AVI area (i.e. animal care area) of the airport for the duration of their transit stop in Dubai; the hours these animals spend in the AVI area being provided care of any kind, including feeding, watering, travel box repair or replacement, medical attention if needed (which thankfully is usually not needed), and anything else they might require or benefit from; and the transport of these animals from the AVI area to the next aircraft for their onward flight. DKC is not involved in the first and third phases because the airlines and airports have their own specialised crew for this, but we are indeed responsible for the care and attention provided to animals while they are in the AVI area.</p> <p>Airports are immensely complex places from the point of view of procedures and processes and the sheer number of people involved in... everything, including animal care. And DKC play this small but important part in the whole picture in Dubai.</p>
What do you mean by "Airport Oversight"?

First of all, we do not mean that we are in some way in charge of the airport! Goodness! No, tha

<h5>What do you mean by "Airport Oversight"?</h5><p>First of all, we do <em>not</em> mean that we are in some way in charge of the airport! Goodness! No, that's not at all what we mean. Sounds great, but no. <img alt="" src="/graphics/ic_smiley3.png"></p> <p>This is what we mean: In addition to providing "Transit Care" for animals in transit through Dubai International Airport (DXB) and, when required, Dubai World Central (DWC) for Emirates SkyCargo, we are also responsible for the overall well-being and safety of <em>any</em> animal (except horses!) at DXB and DWC during the period of time when all these animals are actually in our care and control in the AVI area (i.e. the animal care area) of the airport, even if those animals are not transiting but instead are importing or exporting. In other words, although we have our own import and export shipments of animals, there are obviously many other imports and exports of animals into/out of DXB which are <em>not</em> DKC's own customers/shipments ~ instead they are shipments being handled by pet owners themselves or other shipping agents. Once these animals come into the airport, either after arrival in the country or while awaiting departure to... someplace somewhere, most of them are cleared or depart without requiring any care or attention of any kind because everything is in order with them and no special circumstances arise. However, while they are in Emirates' CMT AVI area, we provide the necessary oversight to ensure that they are indeed ok, and when there is a need for any additional attention, we are the ones who handle all that for Emirates Airline as their sub-contracted partner. In other words, our general "oversight" means that whether or not we are specifically needed by Emirates or dnata for a specific situation, we simply keep an eye on all animals in the AVI area of the airports to ensure things are alright; if any action is required, be it simple things such as a few minutes of attention for a pet or something more serious requiring veterinary care, DKC are responsible for managing all this.</p> <p>In truth, the vast majority of shipments require no additional attention by us because these animals are being properly handled by the shippers, pet owners and airlines. For what it's worth, nevertheless, we are always around anyway.  <img alt="" src="/graphics/ic_smiley3.png"></p>
Can DKC manage both the import and export sides of my pet's or other animal's relocation?

Definitely yes! For sure! Yup!

Well... maybe. Read on.

There are two parts to any

<h5>Can DKC manage both the import and export sides of my pet's or other animal's relocation?</h5> <div class="faq_ans_img"><img loading="lazy" src=""></div> <div class="faq_ans_text"><p>Definitely yes! For sure! Yup!</p> <p>Well... maybe. Read on.</p> <p>There are two parts to any relocations process: 1) the export; 2) the import; and they need to be seen as distinct processes because, in fact, they are (although both sides coordinate with each other). We can definitely assist you with the import side if you're coming <em>into</em> the UAE, and we can definitely assist you with the export side if you're <em>leaving</em> the UAE. And that's because we, obviously, are <em>in</em> the UAE.</p> <p>Right, now that's clear.</p> <p>However, there (almost!) always needs to be someone (you, a friend or another relocations agent) handling things on the "other" side of a relocation. If you're importing into the UAE, someone will definitely have to handle things in your country of origin. If you're exporting from the UAE, someone in your destination country will have to handle things upon the arrival of your pet if your pet is being exported as "manifest cargo". (What is "manifest cargo" and "accompanied/excess baggage? Read our <a href="/docs/Pet_Flight_Options.pdf" target="_blank">Pet Flight Options</a>). There must always be a physical presence on both sides for the handing of it all when travelling as manifest cargo and when additional import requirements demand this.</p> <p>And so, you can of course engage us to handle the UAE-based stuff (please do!), but in the other country, you will have to have yourself, a friend or another agent handle that side of things. If you're going to use another agent, that's when we can step in to help with <em>both</em> sides of the shipment - although the other agent will be doing the physical work required at the other end, you may wish to deal with only one company for the management and payment of the whole process. In which case, we can manage that for you. There will of course be an additional management fee, but you might be happier having to deal with only one company.</p> <p>And by the way, if you do want to find another agent on your own, in your non-UAE location, check out <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, where you'll be able to search for pet/animal shippers all over the world.</p> <p>But why did we exclaim "almost!" a couple of paragraphs up? Well, in departing the UAE, there are many countries around the world that permit the entry/arrival of pets travelling with you as "accompanied/excess baggage" rather than as "manifest cargo" for Customs clearance following arrival. This is not to say that additional assistance in the destination country is <em>never</em> required simply because your pet has travelled accompanied/excess baggage, but there are indeed many countries for which the entry requirements do <em>not</em> require this type of additional assistance (e.g. import permit, on-arrival quarantine, etc.). In other words, more research!!</p> <p>Complicated, this import/export thing, eh?  </p></div>

Animal Care. Animal Relocations. By Animal People.

Love... and other stuff too



Office Coordinators -cum- Receptionists
Animal Relocations Officers

Take a look at our Careening Careers page.